The MCC has backed Australia's decision not to tour Zimbabwe and has called on the ICC to suspend Zimbabwe's Test and one-day status due to the sharp decline in their playing standard. The MCC's World Cricket committee, chaired by Tony Lewis, was reluctant to comment directly on the political situation in Zimbabwe but said the rebuilding of cricket infrastructure was needed for Zimbabwe to again become competitive.
"[The committee] believes the standard of cricket played by Zimbabwe, a full member of the ICC, has deteriorated to such an extent that its Test and one-day international playing status should be permanently suspended until such time as the cricket infrastructure is rebuilt," the group said in a statement.
"While it is not for the MCC World Cricket committee to make judgments on the politics of any particular country, the committee believes the decline in the standard of cricket in Zimbabwe is directly related to the political situation there, and that an improvement is unlikely while the current regime is in place.
"The committee, therefore, welcomes the decision of the Australian government in preventing its cricket team from touring Zimbabwe later this year. Once the social unrest has been addressed, ICC should, by means of regular review and guidance, assist the Zimbabwe Cricket Union in rebuilding as a serious cricketing nation."
The committee includes six former England captains as well as international representatives such as Andy Flower, Steve Waugh, Courtney Walsh, Rahul Dravid and Barry Richards. Although the MCC does not have an official role in running world cricket, it is responsible for the game's laws.